song lyrics

The Later 1960s

1) To what degree can song lyrics be considered “poetry”? What is gained and lost when the lyricist, composer, and performer of a piece are all the same person(s)?

2) How would you describe the status of country music in the late 1960s? How does this compare to the status of country styles in earlier time periods? What about in the present day?

1)                 Poetry can often be an arbitrary word with an obviously ambiguous spectrum of definition. Webster defines poetry as “literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.” Thomas Hardy, Victorian writer and poet, has a simpler definition. “Poetry is emotion put into measure.” William Hazlitt Poetry is the language of the imagination and the passions. William Hazlitt, the greatest art critic of the late 18th century- Early 19th century defines poetry as “the language of the imagination and the passions.” An encapsulating definition seems to define poetry as a stylized expression of either emotion and/or ideas in a rhythmic form. Now that we have a more ubiquitous definition I believe that most music resides under this umbrella. There are musical lyrics that I believe are senseless; containing no form of raw emotion nor relevant thought.
When an individual takes on the role of the lyricist, composer and performer of a piece of music, the end product portrays the person’s pure feeling and ideas. The benefit to this is that, the end user gets to authentically empathies with the sole artist. In contrast, the listener doesn’t get the complexity and dynamism they would get from multiple artists additions and perspectives.
2)             The 1950s-60s is when rock and country started to converge into a similar feel but based in different geographic locations. For instance. Rockabilly was a staple in the development of both rock and country music. This continues to the current day with songs like “save a horse, ride a cowboy.” The main difference is that most modern day country sounds sound more low tempo and ballad like compared to 60s’ rockabilly. In addition Nashville country music of the 1960s was low tempo and old timey compared to modern Country. Early “Country Music”, stemming from the Appalachian people coming to work in mills and highly influenced from African American culture, was called “Hillbilly Music.” This was more up-tempo and basic, usually accompanied by a banjo. Modern Country and early country share one thing in common, the story behind their lyrics.

Kim Kruse Discussion
byKimberley Alexis Kruse – Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 12:03 PM
1) I believe that song lyrics can be considered poetry to some degree. This is the degree that they contain the same elements, such as rhythm and structure. In addition, both are designed to share a story or emotion with someone. It cannot be fully considered the same though, as lyrics typically rely on music to be “complete” where as poetry relies simply on the words. I believe that when one person does every part for a song, what is gained is that the true meaning, message and emotion they hope to convey is portrayed accurately.  Something that is lost is you lose the skills and array of styles that could have been present if you had three separate individuals.
2) Country music in the 1960’s as influential. At this time in the country, country music finally was appreciated nation wide. In addition, it took on new styles such as “Nashville Sound”.  Most of my basis of this is the emergence of Johnny Cash. I had the pleasure of visiting his museum as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame a few weeks ago. I would say one of the main differences between the status of country styles to earlier time periods was that it went from smaller, rural audiences to a national stage. In addition, African-American artists were performing on the national spot light such as Pride. In comparison to today’s music, I would say country music now has many more female stars on the spot light. When I think of the country stars I know, nearly 70% are women. I would say this is the biggest change to now.

Discussion 7
byErxiao Wang – Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 9:26 PM
1) I think lyrics can be considered poetry because it has a clear structure or form where words lay out and rhyme, and the words incorporates mostly on human emotions–happiness, melancholy, lust, hatred, and etc. Lyric-composing can be just as sophisticated as the composition of a poem. What’s gained when they are all the same person…The meaning the song tries to express remains consistent and unified. Because the writer of the song knows what to incorporate in the song, no bits of of emotion would be lost during translation.(lyrics to music composing, or to performance of the song.) The song is a true original in that sense. What’s lost, on the other hand, would be the diversity of the song. People get tired of just one version of the song. Audience prefers that one song has multiple interpretations from singers of various styles, they want a song to have multiple flavors. I guess for audience’s sake, sometimes they don’t really care if the song perfectly conveys the writer’s emotion (that’s more from the writer’s sake), they wants the right song at the right moment. Different versions of the song fit into different moments in life sounds good.
2) In the late 1960s, country music was finally gained its profound popularity and development. It was finally celebrated nationwide. Meanwhile, New styles emerged as the “Nashville sound”. It has effects on rock ‘n roll and extended into rhythm and blues in the early 1960s.

Discussion 7
byMegan MckenzieHeeren – Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 9:59 PM
1) To me, poetry does not have one specific meaning. Although in school we may have to study poetry thats all writing, maybe even with specific structures and words, I think it can be extended beyond that and really be whatever the poet wants it to be. With this idea in mind, song lyrics can absolutely be poetic when they are written in a way to express something meaningful to the poet. When one person is preforming all the parts in the making of a song, they’re able to truly express themselves through all outlets, which may make the song even more poetic! What could be lost, however, is the depths of having more than one person work on a piece and contributing their individual skills and talents.
2) During the 1960s, country music was undergoing an era of change. The old honky-tonk style was starting to gain influence from music stylings of the north and becoming much more common. Unlike Hillbilly music, these new songs were popular and appreciated throughout the nation, and showed up in Top Pop Songs lists as well as Top Country Song lists. This new music, compared to the older style, had a much wider audience to please and used the styles common in northern music to do so. I think present day Country music has a lot in common with the 1960’s country music. It is enjoyed throughout the nation, by a wide audience much like the Nashville Sound.

1) To what degree can song lyrics be considered “poetry”? What is gained and lost when the lyricist, composer, and performer of a piece are all the same person(s)?
Song lyrics can be considered poetry in the sense that they allow the performer to not only express feelings and ideas in the form of words, but also in the way with which the words are presented. When the lyricist, composer, and performer of a piece are one and the same, it allows the overall purpose and meaning of the piece to follow one central theme in its intended message and theme. In addition, the execution of the piece will be cohesive in its stylistic interpretation. However, with this form, you lose the complexity that may come with a piece with a separate lyricist, composer, and performer.
2) How would you describe the status of country music in the late 1960s? How does this compare to the status of country styles in earlier time periods? What about in the present day?
The biggest significant shift in the 1960s for country music came with the decline of the Nashville sound, as well as the return to the rock n’ roll traditions, resulting in a more country-rock tradition that appeared. This made country more popular to a wider audience, as it became accessible to more forms of taste, as opposed to simply the narrow popular music crowd it was geared towards before. Today’s country retains the cross-genre traditions from rock music.